Pocket-lint Gadget Awards 2010 - Cameras

It's that time of year again. Not only are there just nine weeks of shopping time until Christmas, but it's also nearly the beginning of November which is when we announce the nominations for the annual Pocket-lint Gadget Awards.
 
Just like last year, we want to know which gadgets you think are good enough to make it onto the shortlist. We've started the ball rolling by delving into the cavernous depths of the Pocket-lint archives to provide you with a few reminders. Now it's up to you to let us know what you think in the comments section below. Every day over the next 2 weeks we'll be drip-feeding you with a selection of the best gadgets from each of our 10 awards categories. This is chance to swot up on the top gadgets in time to cast your vote for the Best Digital Camera 2010. Make it count.

 

Compact cameras

Some of you might not even own a dedicated camera any more as some of the more high-end smartphones have relatively impressive cameras that carry some pretty powerful photo apps, in particular the iPhone and Android handsets. However, if you are still making use of a compact digital camera then no doubt you will have been impressed with some of the models that have been introduced over the last year.

2010 has seen plenty of new cameras equipped with wireless connectivity so that you upload your snaps directly to sites such as Facebook. Several manufacturers have released connected cameras, with Samsung's ST1000 also incorporating GPS location tagging. But the innovations didn't stop there. Samsung also treated us to the ST550 - the world's first camera with a front-facing camera. If you prefer to keep things simple then there are plenty of models, like Sony's Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 and the Fujifilm FinePix F80EXR, that offer a decent performance without breaking the bank. And for those with a little more cash, the Canon PowerShot S95 offered outstandingly precise pictures for a compact.

While some brands have been introducing hefty compacts that are close to being hybrid models (such as Panasonic's Lumix DMC-LX5), some makers have been trying to keep their 2010 lineups as slender as possible, with Fujifilm's svelte FinePix Z800EXR being a prime example. For those that aren't bothered about how compact their compact is, then Superzoom models such as Canon's PowerShot SX30 and the Fujifilm FinePix HS10S really impressed us when we had them in for review. Some have simply gone for minimal aesthetics (step forward, the Pentax Optio H90).

DSLRs

If you like to think of yourself as a bit of a pro photographer, then chances are you'll either already own, or be thinking about investing in a DSLR. And they don't even have to cost an arm and a leg anymore. There's now a wide selection on the market for you to choose from, including a number of slightly more affordable entry-level models.

At just £600, the Nikon 3100 is certainly one of the most affordable DSLRs around, and if you shop around you can probably get one for as little £500. The affordable Olympus E600 also landed this year, but if money is no object, then you'll probably be looking at something a bit more substantial to get your teeth into. Nikon's groundbreaking D3S impressed us with its high-end performance, despite its hefty four grand price tag (and that's just for the body). And for something with fewer bells and whistles, but a superb performance nonetheless, the Canon EOS 550D set a very high standard. And if high-definition video is your bag, then you will have noticed the increasing selection of models with HD recording capability such as Nikon's D7000.

Hybrids

Hybrid cameras have been becoming increasingly popular over the last year, with plenty of new models making their debuts. These sturdy products are designed to offer the picture quality associated with DSLRs with the neat chassis and portability of a compact camera.

As with compacts and DSLRs, the selection of hybrid models available varies both in terms of specs and price, and 2010 has seen the biggest lineup yet. For entry level users, particularly those who are trading up from a compact for the first time, the affordable Nikon Coolpix P100 fits the bill as you can get hold of it for less than £300. The Ricoh GXR also offers a wallet-friendly price, albeit with a somewhat bizarre two-part chassis. Many of the cameras in this sector make use of Micro Four Thirds technology, such as Panasonic's Lumix DMC-G10 and Lumix DMC-G2. You'll also find the same wizardry hiding under the chassis of the Sony's svelte Alpha NEX-5 and Samsung's impressive debut hybrid - the NX10. For those with bags of cash, one of the priciest hybrids to hit the shops in 2010 was the Olympus Pen E-P2, with its distinctive design and compact casing.

Camcorders

Although many stills cameras and a great deal of smarphones offer video capture, the quality and functionality of a dedicated camcorder is hard to beat. The market has continued to shift away from standard-definition products and towards HD models during 2010.

Samsung recently introduced its HMX-T10 full HD camcorder which sports a 20-degree slanted lens that's designed to do away with aching hands and wrists. 2010 has also seen the launch of several touchscreen camcorders, such as the Canon Legria HF M32. Several brands have also renewed their camcorder lineups to include entry-level models representing great value, like the Sony DCR-SX15E. For serious enthusiasts and semi-pros, Sony introduced its NEX-VG10E, sporting an interchangable lens and tank-like build quality.  Panasonic raised the stakes even higher in 2010 with the introduction of the very first 3D consumer camcorder - the HTC-SD750.

Pocket camcorders

As the popularity of video sharing sites continues to rise, more and more people now want to have a camcorder on them at all times so that they can capture footage on the go and easily upload it to Facebook or YouTube. This need for portability has led to the development of the pocket camcorder - a product that we've seen a lot of in 2010.

Sony updated its offering with the new Bloggie Touch which, as the name suggests, offers a touch screen, along with full HD video capture and a 12.8-megapixel camera. Likewise, Toshiba has given its Camileo camcorder range a makeover with the introduction of touchscreen technology to the S30. The pocket camcorder sector is packed with no-frills, solid performers, such as the Samsung HMX-U20 and the Panasonic HM-TA1. There were also plenty of ultra-mobile products launched, including the new Flip MinoHD.

What do you think?

These are just some of the fantastic choices we've have had in 2010. What would you like to see held aloft as the winner of Pocket-lint Best Digital Camera 2010? What have we missed out? Which are your unsung heroes and, of those we've already mentioned, which would get your vote? Let us know in the comments below and you can help our panel decide which make the shortlist of nominees to be announced here on Pocket-lint on 8 November.

We'll have all our coverage of the Pocket-lint awards 2010 right here. Don't miss a minute of it.